Monday, April 26, 2010
carmen . woh kaun thi . madonna: the girlie show . oh happy day . half ticket . the fame monster . here lies love . teen deviyan
it is the touch of reverb on lata mangeshkars voice that gives the songs in ‘who kaun thi’ that strange hollowness. then there is sadhana and her hair flying free across her face in wisps as she walks around in a white sari in the various floors of the haunted house. very well made film. ‘carmen’ was filmed opera with a black beautiful carmen surrounded by lusting men. she is quite the seductress- some of the music is lovely but the perpetual self flagellation of the main lover gets to be boring and the girl next door much too piteous to be likeable.
madonna has no such problems. the world revolves around her and she makes a good centerpiece. moving in and out of costume and character, once dominatrix and next loving daughter. the shape shifting continues throughout- who cares whether anything there is real?it is after all the pretense of the real that keeps her as much fun as she has always been. even the confessional stuff is so blatantly put-on. saw lady gaga on tv recently and can see the roots of her well orchestrated persona in early madonna. madonna does seem to have a better ear for pop though. ‘the fame monster’ gets to be repetitive after a while- but then again it might be a double album problem.
another double album with a madonna connection albeit a little indirect is the david byrne / fatboy slim collaboration ‘here lies love’ – a tribute to imelda marcos – of the corruption and shoes fame. somewhere between a concept album and a soundtrack for a musical, the evita comparisons are unavoidable. the same poor little rich girl story- with similar excuses for the extravagances of riches and power. every politically correct female singer songwriter seems to be a part of the album.
dev anand is caught between three women in ‘teen deviyan’. first it is the long suffering girl across the courtyard nanda- who waits for him to return from his jaunts with the two others like the good indian stree that she is; the second the sizzling kalpana who plays a version of herself- dancing with hair flowing free seductively for him while constantly having a sadness in her eyes that does not seem to go; and then finally simi garewal who is sophisticated suave high society woman and a sure fire stepping stone for our poet hero to fame and fortune. one guess who he chooses- after all this is a hindi film. still some great stuff like the song in kashmir where the wall in between dev and simi is erotically charged; or the fact that none of the women are shown as complete losers. being one who has been in a position where he thought he was in love with three people at once, i cant help but sympathize with poor dev anand.
‘oh happy day’ at the film festival yesterday was as harmless as it was forgettable. a gay rom com set in london. cross culture love story like an extended tv show. kishore kumars antics are fun for the first half an hour of ‘half ticket’ until they get annoying and finally merely repetitive. madhubala takes care of the half panted kishore as he hams his way through the film while pran spends all the time running after a diamond in kishore kumars back pocket.
Friday, April 23, 2010
this year.. some kind of strange utopianism seems to pervade at least two of my students. at one level incredibly trusting in power to architecture to transform lives and at the same time in a strange way- tragic. apurva lays a carcass of a building in deonar as a slaughterhouse. the ground plane when one gets close to the monster though is filled with playgrounds and cricket pitches. arijit on the other hand makes heroic a sewage treatment plant. glass capillaries rise into the sky carrying the water into trees up in the sky. this field of glass and steel is a new edge to the way the city meets the water. i wish i had images of some of the other projects. jeet reimagined the stock exchange as an office ecology and mithila worked in the prince of wales museum.
rituals in the inner city or micro urbanism- uncovering stories of illegal water carriers in girgaon or the gold collectors in zaveri bazaar or mangaldas market. and intervening in gentle small ways. lovely people from china (canton). language was an obstacle that we were happy to overcome.
dipti is engaged to mukul (the chef)
mukul, shrikant and hansa at the cinema city meeting in college
surprise party for vinita at her place
adheem after a long time- here from australia
the dhansak party at maya's a few weeks back and her husbands incredible collection of everything.